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Open mike 03/11/2021

Written By: - Date published: 6:00 am, November 3rd, 2021 - 154 comments
Categories: open mike - Tags:

Open mike is your post.

For announcements, general discussion, whatever you choose.

The usual rules of good behaviour apply (see the Policy).

Step up to the mike …

154 comments on “Open mike 03/11/2021 ”

  1. bwaghorn 1


    You do understand that planting forests can only replace the carbon those forests released when they were cut down?

    Planting trees to offset fossil fuels is farce of the the highest order.

    • Dennis Frank 1.1


      But the important thing is to create the right impression in the public mind. As long as everyone feels that climate change is being dealt with, political pressure to do more will abate. Remember that, in democracy, the sheeple rule. Weight of numbers.

      • garibaldi 1.1.1

        DF, I am sure the sheeple would not feel that cc is being dealt with if they were properly informed about this issue.

        Where are the media on this travesty? Absent as usual because the vested interests(their advertisers and owners) prefer to push neoliberalism.

    • Ad 1.2

      A great question for the Minister for Climate Change James Shaw.

      He is the Minister responsible.

      He was supposed to have the entire plan ready next month – but we will now wait until May 2022.

      • Sabine 1.2.1

        Surely there will be an election and once more we be will be bedazzled with all the things they will do if we were to just elect them. Lol.

        Ministers of Parliament, Money for nothing and perks too. Vote 2023

        • Ad

          Minster Shaw has done a fairly average job in his two terms – in the same league as Stuart Nash for portfolio performance.

          But there's a chance he'll return out of COP 26 with political upside.

          There's also a chance he will get some redemption in May 2022 Budget with his whole-of-government plan and budget implications.

          If he can continue to keep National on side through the Carbon Plan rollout as he has through the legislation, he will have embedded his plan for future Parliaments.

          That makes for a tough first half of 2022 for him, but there's all to play for.

          • Sabine

            I am not a fan of the current set up of the green party, i find all of them without expection to be overhyped at best, useless at worst. So yeah, they will try and milk it for what its worth, being a MP beats working in real live – see covid – and the pay is much better too.

            As i said, MPs, money for nothing perks for life, go elect us, what else would we be good for. 2023.

            • Ad

              Every party has useless timeservers, and also those who are past their prime.

              I don't see evidence Shaw is one of those.

            • DukeEll

              Be great if Davidson stepped aside for swarbrick so we could see some actual progress

    • GreenBus 1.3

      Don't trees absorb Carbon? Carbon from fossil fuel burning. We are constantly told that trees do exactly that, and people need to stop felling trees. Why is planting trees a farce?

      • Sabine 1.3.1

        because we cut them faster then we can plant them or they can grow into something large enough to be cut again.

        Unless we leave these trees in the ground for the next say 300 years to actually become old forests you are playing nothing more then a losing game of catch up.

        But hey, he got to go to Scotland during a pandemic, and now he can pretend to bring home some solutions – like we haven't known that we should be planting trees since the late 70's early 80's when trees died of acid rain.

        But then, they birth one of them every year, and they grow into adults and really believe that know one knew until they came along and told us so.

    • Robert Guyton 1.4
    • Robert Guyton 1.5

      Planting trees, a farce? Replanting the lost forests and woodlands of the planet is the most important action we can take to ensure our survival. The benefits of tree-planting extend far beyond the simple carbon issue you’re describing. In fact, I'd call those benefits immeasurable.

      • Sabine 1.5.1

        You are correct of course, planting trees does extend beyond the simple carbon issue.

        However, pretending that it will do much or even save something (us) is a farce, considering that we cut our forrests far quicker then we ever plant them. Heck, go to suburbia, and count the trees. Guess what, they are the first thing to go in order to make way for carports and concreted over places for the 6 cars of the 6 adults living in a three bedroom house.

        So yeah, he is quite right, it is a farce to make believe that we are actually doing something. But we don't.

        But in saying that, i will plant some more trees, to make up for the 8 trees that were cut down on the property on the other side of the fence to make way for ……cars!!!, never mind the birds that have been made homeless. But lets blame cats for that.

      • francesca 1.5.2

        I may be wrong, but unless those trees are burnt for fuel, the carbon remains within the timber surely ?.Yes, they are no longer taking carbon from the atmosphere in the process of photosynthesis,but the actual carbon they've gathered is not lost . The felled trees then need to be replaced with seedlings which will uptake carbon at a faster rate than mature trees (still uptaking carbon at a lower rate, but overall at a still significant rate )

        More trees, forests in perpetuity, longer rotations , higher value for forestry plantations, more of the continuous canopy forestry model

        • Nic the NZer

          Decomposing wood also releases carbon. Reforestration for carbon sequestration purposes needs to be more or less permanent.

          • Sabine

            and that is the issue, innit, if you leave the trees standing then there is no real profit.

            • Nic the NZer

              Thats a bit of an issue with what society pays an income for. But there is a huge real payoff to certain reforestation projects which we don't get from the timber industry (though I suspect timber is better than farming for carbon sequestration, as its usually replanted).

          • francesca

            Felled trees in a forestry situation tend to be milled into timber.I sure hope that wooden framing and cladding doesn't start decomposing straight away

            Decomposing wood ( from naturally fallen trees) becomes part part of the current carbon cycle , carbon released to the atmosphere taken up again by those hopefully replanted forests .This carbon is separate from that released by burning fossil fuels. It's essential for the integrity of the carbon cycle that felled trees are immediately replaced by new plantings.

      • Tricledrown 1.5.3

        Our Wilding pines are soaking up carbon but no credit's.

      • bwaghorn 1.5.4

        I said thinking planting trees to offset fossil fuel us is a farce ,dir to the fact that anywhere that a tree gets planted was most likely home to a tree we (royal we)cut down in the past, so at best we are only capturing the carbon lost from that action

        • UncookedSelachimorpha

          "so at best we are only capturing the carbon lost from that action"

          Exactly. A very useful thing to do.

    • left_forward 1.6

      Carbon gets released when the trees cut down? Dont think so.

      It entirely depends on the next steps for the cut trees (and the land they are grown on)… do they rot back into the soil, are they burnt, used for building materials, or making furniture? Unless burnt, the carbon eventually ends up back in the soil and sequestered, as long as the soil is looked after.

      And that is the key, protect the soil, and we sequester carbon. Traditional monoculture tree growing and clearfelling techniques are not good because of the damage to the soil during growing and after harvest.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 1.7

      Carbon is carbon, it doesn't care where it comes from (fossil fuels or whatever)

      If you increase carbon in standing biomass (by planting trees in places that are currently not forest), this will absorb carbon from the atmosphere for as long as the increased biomass remains.

      • bwaghorn 1.7.1

        Yeahbut we could plant the whole planet and it would not offset 1 bit of carbon released since Og accidentally burnt the cave down when his shiny new hearth stones turned out to be the until then unknown coal.

        But people just wrap themselves up in the feel good cloak of planting a few trees and charging along as normal.

        Until scientists come up with a viable carbon capture you going to be a slowly roasted prawn my friend

        • weka

          this is simply not true b.

          If you take a hillside currently in pasture, and you reforest it, that area of land is sequestering carbon until it reaches a climax forest state. At the point, leave it the fuck alone (ie don't treat it like a grab bag of resources), because as Robert points out, there are multiple benefits to a forest. Maybe it's a wild forest, maybe it's a food forest, maybe it can be selectively logged, maybe it's part of a grazing system. But leave it there.

          NZ has a very large amount of land that we could do this with. Here's the rub: you can't use it as a swap for releasing GHGs. We would have to use it as a carbon sink and reduce GHG emissions at the same time.

          We also know that regenerative agriculture both reduces emissions and sequesters carbon, if done well it's a net sink. Think about all the pasture on the planet that is currently being ploughed every year (releasing carbon) and what would happen if we stopped ploughing (far less carbon release) and managed the land regeneratively (carbon stored permanently as the soil rebuilds).

          Again, do that and reduce GHGs emissions at the same time, don't use it as a trade off to burn fossil fuels or do industrial dairying.

          If we had any bloody sense we would be giving our R and D sector (private and government) shit loads of funding because those techs already exist. But hey, people want to believe in the fantasy of high tech CCS that doesn't even exist yet instead of what is already in our backyards. That's the problem we face right now.

          • weka

            time I wrote a post about this, grr.

          • bwaghorn

            Your not understanding me.

            As that grassy hill was once forest, when you plant it you are just recapturing the carbon released when it was cleared, (that doesn't make it a bad thing to do .)

            What I'm saying is this fucking delusion that many ,including this government and Mr Shaw, think that planting trees here or in brazil will offset carbon being released now. It won't .

            We have been releasing carbon since we made our first adze and mastered fire through deforestation so any planting can only recapture that carbon ,

            • weka

              What humans and nature did prior to the Industrial Revolution was largely manageable for the planet within the natural carbon cycle. There are some notable exceptions, but it wasn’t significantly from human activities.

              There are regenag people who make the claim that regenag can sequester all the carbon released by humans since the IR. Whether that's overstating and by how much I don't know, but it is true that regenag can sequester more carbon than is commonly thought. eg Joel Salatin says over something like five decades he's rebuilt inches of topsoil on his farm. Mainstream scientists say it takes millennia to do that (I'm being rough with my figures here, don't have them in my head).

              For your theory to be true, the amount of carbon released when the paddock deforested would have to be the same or more than the carbon captured when the forest is replanted. The account would also need to take into account the growing deficit over the decades since then globally.

              But ultimately this is reductionist thinking. From a whole systems point of view, we have to reforest, restore native ecosystems, and convert pasture and cropping to regenag, because those are the things that put us back in the natural carbon cycle. We also have to stop polluting the atmosphere further. Whether all of that is enough, I doubt that anyone knows, but it's still the right thing to do because the only way that life on earth, including our own, will survive is if we become part of those natural cycles again.

              And yes, NZ's climate commitment of buying credits from other countries so we can still have industrial export dairying is insane. But guess who voted for this? It wasn't James Shaw.

              I wrote a post about it yesterday. https://thestandard.org.nz/alt-cop26-get-in-line-or-get-out-of-the-way/

              • weka


                Salatin explained that the farm his family has been on since the 1960s was inexpensive to purchase because it was poor quality land due to years of adverse soil practices. To illustrate that, he told how there wasn't even enough topsoil to anchor posts from which to string electric fencing wire.

                But years of focus on soil health has added 12 inches of soil with a high percentage of organic material, he said.


                Someone else can look up the amount of carbon lost on that land when it was originally degraded, because I find the focus on linear maths a cul de sac without the whole systems view.

                Lynn has things to say about why he thinks the maths are wrong on sequestration (to do with long geological time frames) but I’ve not understood his points well.

              • Herodotus

                "What humans and nature did prior to the Industrial Revolution was largely manageable.." IMO the dramatic increase of the world pop., increase in life expectancy + improvements in standard of living appears to align with the graph on "global primary energy by source". Never come across this site before, has some interesting information/data.



                • weka

                  very good.

                  Also that graph, if anyone still thinks we're going to replace fossil fuels with renewables and have BAU, lol.

                  • Herodotus

                    Yes I was taken back by this – Such info should be widely circulated as to the immense size of the issue. Unfortunately it is very deflating, and if any in Glasgow are honest there is IMO a massive trade off that we have to face. Screw the planet and suffer the consequences the .005% will be ok. or allow humans to manage the issue and face massive issues pop. reduction and reduced living stds and hope that the consequences are less severe.

                    • weka

                      I personally believe (and it is a belief) that we still have time to do this in an ok way. I don't fear the Powerdown because I've lived most of my adult life with the benefits of that kind of living and I know many others that are the same. I get the good aspects of that in my bones.

                      I also rate regenag highly for its ability to both produce food/materials and restore ecological sanity. NZ can probably produce food for other places in the world regeneratively, and large land masses like the US can too. We've seen that urban farming is successful, and that humans can work together.

                      The biggest issue is we just don't have the stories of how to do this in the mainstream and many people are addicted to high consumption lifestyles and just can't imagine being ok without them.

  2. Dennis Frank 2

    Dr Vincent O’Malley is a New Zealand writer and historian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/commentisfree/2021/nov/02/new-zealands-children-will-all-soon-study-the-countrys-brutal-history-its-not-before-time

    In September 2019 prime minister Jacinda Ardern announced that New Zealand history would be taught in all schools from 2022.

    It felt like a momentous decision given abundant evidence that most students left school having had little or no exposure to the history of their own country. Generations of New Zealanders had grown up without even a basic awareness of pivotal moments in the nation’s past, unable to understand how events like the nineteenth-century New Zealand Wars and subsequent land confiscations resonated today in myriad ways, including in the often dire socio-economic statistics of Māori communities around the country.

    Aotearoans have been performing their long march out of colonialism for many decades. Perhaps this sees them entering the home straight?

    In 1992 Arlana Delamere was in her final year of secondary school at Green Bay High School in Auckland. Students opting to take history as part of the seventh form (now year 13) syllabus were offered two choices: Tudor and Stuart England or 19th-century New Zealand. Except in many cases the decision had already been made for them by their schools, which offered a choice of English history or nothing.

    Arlana’s father, and future Cabinet minister, Tuariki John Delamere, was working in Wellington as a negotiations manager at the Treaty of Waitangi Policy Unit when he received a phone call from his upset daughter. “She was in her last year of high school in Auckland. And she wants to study New Zealand history and found out she couldn’t, she could only study British history, and she was pretty incensed about it. She thought this is bullshit.”

    It's related to why Auckland cops call their HQ Bullshit Castle. Obviously the police hierarchy are required to administer neo-colonialist procedures, so the ranks are just calling a spade a spade. And you can't blame teachers for teaching what was required in the 19th century during the 21st century. The inertial effect of bureaucracy rolls on forever. Until the PM threw the binary switch on them!

    So now we'll get pakeha teachers trying to teach our history from a Maori perspective as well as from a settler perspective. That'll be fun! Will they wheel in a token Maori instead? Treaty zealots will point out that each school ought to have a Maori teacher on staff to provide historical balance – but you can expect the Education Dept bureaucrats to die in the ditches trying to prevent such progress from happening…

    • Ad 2.1

      Instead of taking a general sneer at MoE and teaching, why not just celebrate it as a good policy idea being implemented.

      • I Feel Love 2.1.1

        It is a great idea & should be celebrated. The next few generations are going to be awesomely well informed.

        • Ad

          Also personally looking forward to Matariki next year.

          I suspect it's going to be a day of national relief. One to say thanks to each other.

          Never ceases to amaze me how well New Zealand has held together despite all the potential for ethnic division that could have been caused over the last two years.

    • Sabine 2.2

      German teachers are teaching German history from the perspective of the victims. It can actually be done, without issues and without guilting the kids for the sins of their forfathers. We call it 'denazification', 'umerziehumg' – to turn education over. Surely this too can be done here, unless you are saying that Pakeha teacers – which is every one bar Maori, are unable to do so. And frankly that would be a very sad statement from you on behalf of teachers.

      • I Feel Love 2.2.1

        The irony in those comments by DF, RL whoever is they're from a coloniser POV, yet they don't see that. "Why can't we all just be one people". It'll get better.

        • Sabine

          I am worried about one thing, namely that hte education runs down to 'all whites are racists'.

          I was ashamed as an eleven year old – Sister Rosa did a good job, it helped that she was alive during the time a student in Munich. The White Rose ment something to her physically, emotionally and intellectually. Maybe that was the difference. But i went on to try to find 'good germans'. It makes for funny adults later in life.

          Dachau is a place 60 kms from where i live, let me tell you something, Everyone knew what was going on, everyone was aware of whom was killed there, and everyone was scared shitless that they too could have ended up in the ovens. that is something that i understood much later in life.

          So i really really hope that the MOE drives a fine line of education of the past as written by those that were killed, removed from their lands, raped and hanged, but still understands and teaches that they white kids of today – are not the perpetrator, heck some may not even be 'Kiwis' but first generations immigrants.

          A fine line indeed. And frankly i am not sure our calibre of government stooges is actually able to create that curriculum.

          But it can be done.

          • Ad

            Have you had a look at The Good Germans, by Catrine Clay? I've been winding through it recently.

      • garibaldi 2.2.2

        It is a great idea but I remember the seventies debacle on trying to have a maori teacher of Maori in all secondary schools. What a ballsup.

        Also what about all the Conservative Private schools? Can you imagine them avidly teaching the errors of colonialism and settler attitudes (still prevalent now).

        • Ad

          You know that was 50 years ago right?

          • garibaldi

            It is not my preference that I happen to be a septuagenarian and that I happened to be a teacher at the time !

            • In Vino

              I too was a teacher at that time, and I would add that this is exactly the kind of area where history does tend to repeat..

      • Nic the NZer 2.2.3

        I thought that was pretty dumb as well. But it happens I learned history at school from an Austrian (also the German teacher). While we were covering the nuclear bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, I brought the idea that Nagasaki was bombed in the knowledge that Japan was ready to surrender, to class. Now either that wasn't in the curriculum or you had to be Japanese to teach it like that (and no, I didn't get that idea from anybody who is Japanese).

        • Koff

          I was taught the History of the British Empire and Commonwealth by a Tanzanian Gujarati history teacher in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) as a kid – absolutely riveting version!

        • Sabine

          That was US American History and Austria was also occupied by the US. I guess there is so much more to the nuclear bombings of Japan that hte US would not want taught. Even in Germany you will be hard pressed to find much history teaching of US modern history that reflects the voices of Native and African American and Mexican voices.

          Sister Rosa walked us through these bombings and we left this particular scene of slaughter with the knowledge that no one can claim moral superiority and do such an act, not to win, but to enforce total submission.

          As i said, it can be done. But it actually takes courage.

    • vto 2.3

      a curious thing i noticed with this development – a concentration on 19th century wars only.

      aotearoa's history is fascinating, with a lot more to discover yet

      but it needs to go way back to the currently understood beginning and, if it is going to include conflict, include all conflicts, pre-euro as well. The arrivals of the polynesians is fascinating, as is their rapid spread around the islands, their societal changes a couple centuries after arrival, on it goes …

      i fear the curriculum will be selective though and not comprehensive, with less appealing components left out, as is always the case

      • Ad 2.3.1

        A text I've really enjoyed recently is Pakeha Settlements in a Maori World: New Zealand Archaeology 1769-1860.

        Fleshes out the Anne Salmond series with the plans, artefacts, and initial interactions.

        • vto

          Cool, thanks I'll check it out. Have been devouring anything and everything on NZ history the last couple years, plus anything and everything anthropological… early manwoman walking out of africa, the numerous hominid species and their interactions, the constant colonisation and recolonisation of lands since forever, how late they lived (very recently and the source of our 'myths' around fairies, mountain people, bigfoot, etc the world over I think). The entire area is on a very steep upwards trajectory of increasing knowledge..

        • Patricia Bremner

          Thanks Have noted that.

    • Stephen D 2.4

      As a teacher of Year 7&8s, with degree in History and a wide reading of New Zealand history, I'm fucking incensed at your patronising bullshit, Dennis.

      Yes, I'm male, yes I'm Pakeha, yes I'm old, but none of that invalidates my ability to lead students through the history of their own country. We will cover as much pre colonial as we can. Early contacts, Te Tiriti, The New Zealand wars, the ongoing affects of colonisation, the role of women, and plenty more.

      So don't give me that sanctimonious crap.

      Give teachers the credit they deserve.

      • Jimmy 2.4.1

        Well said Stephen

      • Dennis Frank 2.4.2

        laugh Okay, you're an exception to the rule, good for you. I'm reflecting my experience of the education system, from a prior generation. Would be good if today's teachers were more like you! We lack any evidence to assume they are.

        • Sabine

          Maybe you should put that disclaimer up first, or last what ever, before essentially proclaiming that you don't think todays teachers don't pass the muster.

          • Dennis Frank

            Sometimes one must be provocative to flush out the truth of things. Emotional reactions from those who see things differently are understandable. However we haven't had the kind of mass signalling from the establishment that would persuade us that a substantial shift has occurred. Until someone fronts with evidence on the points I made, I'll probably have to keep making those points.

        • KJT

          Going by my mostly Pakeha Teachers in the 60's and 70's, they were well aware of NZ's colonial history and it's effects. And taught us about it.

          I learnt about Parihaka and Te Whiti, at primary school, in Taranaki, in the 60's, for example.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well that's good to know. I sure as hell didn't, in Taranaki in the '50s – nor at Intermediate, here in New Plymouth. Nor at college in Wanganui.

            And my dad's father, who told me his grandfather had lived in Parihaka, failed to fill in any details of that. Being a kid when he mentioned it, I never thought it might be worth asking. If it were not for the `seen but not heard' ethos in regard to children, I may have expressed curiosity. He never even said his grandad was a soldier at the time – maybe wasn't told.

            • KJT

              That is you. Many of my contempories had enterly different experiences.

              And, When I was Teaching, I met burnt out Teachers, frustrated Teachers, mediocre Teachers, superb Teachers and everything in between. But very few that didn't care deeply about the job, and the kids they were Teaching.
              The “time servers” were rare, and tended to roost in private or high decile schools where they could go home at 1500.

              Several of my older Pakeha relatives, gone now of course, taught in "Native Schools" in Maori and English. Looking back, they helped inform that generation of Maori activism. Being almost all "old soldiers" and or trade Unionists, and sceptical of "English Imperialism".

      • UncookedSelachimorpha 2.4.3

        I found history fascinating at high school (Christchurch), and the teachers enthusiastic and interesting.

        They were all pakeha – but among other things, all were deeply cynical about the motives, attitudes and behaviour of the British and other colonialists.

    • mac1 2.5

      One way to teach history, Dennis, is to use books. Books on history written from different perspectives. Teachers then teach their students about bias.

      Teachers then recognise their own bias, as well. My Training College tutor had a trilogy of knowledge he passed on to me fifty years ago- "First, know yourself, then your students, then your subject'.

      I taught History. Part of the course was NZ History. At the end of the year, I asked my students to tell me how I voted, based on perceived bias in my teaching. More than half got it wrong.

      It is possible to teach without undue bias. Part of the role of history teacher is to explain historical bias, to help students recognise it and factor it into their own thinking- be it national, religious, cultural, class, political.

      The unusual nature of history teaching is the reality that same practice I was giving to students to account for bias in the authorial content of the books they were reading was also directed at their own innate bias, and that of their teacher.

      All in an ideal world, of course.

      And I am, for these reasons and for general knowledge, understanding, the development of literary and argumentative skills and the need for evidence to support opinions, in favour of this government’s move to teach our history. Having been a part of this history for 72 years, I can see the need…….

      • Dennis Frank 2.5.1

        I agree that teaching kids how to read bias is a good idea. Psychology around that tends to come from social niche as matrix, so shifting outside that square is a mental trick. Hard to do first time, then gets easier the more you do it.

        I think you were probably more insightful than most teachers. Interpreting stuff does require a grasp of nuance most teachers lack.

        • mac1

          One thing I learnt from being forty years in the teaching game.

          People who have been to school think they know about teaching. Another thing is that people certainly remember who they call bad teachers, and some times the influential teacher/s in their lives. That then informs their judgment upon teaching as a practice,

          That's like me knowing about medicine because I've been a patient, or coaching because I've been a player, or parenting because I've been a son.

          Dennis, you missed an important point in my first comment- the need for evidence to back up opinions. You criticised current teachers, without offering evidence, when you wrote, “Would be good if today's teachers were more like you! We lack any evidence to assume they are.”

          Upon what research do you base that last sentence? Your only evidence so far is based on your own schooling, like mine, many years ago.

          ‘Reckons’ are not enough.

          I have been a teacher. I have been a relief teacher thereby seeing what other teacher's classrooms are like. I have read reports on students written by fellow teachers. I have been a parent on parent interview nights using my own teaching smarts to evaluate what I am hearing.

          Unlike most, I have been a counselor/student discipline staff member. That work took me to the teachers who were struggling with a student. I heard both sides of the issue. I went into classrooms on a regular and uninvited basis. I walked the corridors during teaching time. I brokered agreements between staff and students. I read the comments on students written by teachers.

          I wrote leaving assessments on students for years based on information from their teachers, on reports from every staff member.

          For years I ran a Friday afternoon bar in the staffroom where I remained as a sober host observing my fellows as they processed a week's efforts.

          I am married to a teacher and observed her practice and her colleagues.

          I have been a student teacher, observing possibly fifty teachers in four schools in a year, a house master and a coach where I met other teachers. I have been on courses with teachers from other schools, and been on trips away with staff and students. I have socialised with staff on weekend fishing trips, been on two school boards as a parent representative and served on the local REAP.

          Finally, I ended my working life as a school cleaner, interacting with teachers in their classrooms at the end of their working day, after the students had gone. I observed their classrooms.

          I even cleaned the graffiti off their students' desks.

          In all that 45 years experience, I did not meet many poor teachers.

          • Dennis Frank

            Well, that's all worth considering. What comes to mind is the old adage that `the road to hell is paved with good intentions'. Can you actually quote sections of the curriculum which prove today's teachers are required to supplement the teaching of settler history with the teaching of Maori history?

            • Ad

              Great way to sneer at a lifetime of public service Dennis.

              Since you're too lazy to look, here's the draft curriculum. Figure it out for yourself with some actual reading.

              Social sciences / The New Zealand Curriculum / Kia ora – NZ Curriculum Online (tki.org.nz)

              • Dennis Frank

                You being silly? What part of the word draft don't you understand yet?

                • Ad

                  Stop being lazy and insulting at the same time. Read it first. Then comment. It helps with thinking.

                  • Dennis Frank

                    Okay, let's assume you do understand that a draft document is a suggestion, not policy. As such, it is a scenario indicating a possible future for the nation. My comments have been in regard to the status quo, as a perpetual recycling of the past. Hypotheticals irrelevant.

                    • Ad

                      To correct you, your comment started precisely about the new history curriculum.

                      Don't try and re-write your own commenting history in the course of a morning.

                      You have developed a very bad habit of attacking public servants and you need to stop.

                    • Dennis Frank

                      Yeah but this sub-thread dealt with Mac's prior experience so I commented on that basis. I agree that the future looks brighter so if you think the draft rectifies history, I'll take your word for it. I'm not in leisure time currently (working on a project) so happy to try & be a wee bit more selective (re attacking public servants)…

            • mac1

              Dennis, as a student and once a teacher of history, I know that even if the curriculum specifies 1840 as a starting point, there are always needing to be considered and taught the factors existing at 1840 that came from an earlier time.

              This is why, when we teach the history of WW1 for example, that we don't begin on 28 July 1914. The context of that conflict goes back to 1870 and beyond.

              Similarly, the Treaty of Waitangi did not come out of a vacuum.

              • RedLogix

                Similarly, the Treaty of Waitangi did not come out of a vacuum.

                It was – in the context of the era – a quite remarkable agreement. It was for instance the first time I know of that an indigenous peoples were granted citizenship in the empire of the world super-power of the day. Nor should we omit the Victorian motivation to eradicate chattel slavery. We all know this didn't play out perfectly – but it's still a turning point in world affairs.

                Equally we tend to overlook Maori motivations – after 40 years of internal genocide many chiefs understood the need for change. The best parallel I can think of was the formation of the UN in the immediate aftermath of WW2. That didn’t turn out perfect either – but remains a monumental step in the right direction.

                The signing of the Treaty was in many ways a brave and idealistic endeavour on both sides – an idea that can be celebrated and unite us as a nation.

                • mac1

                  One of the most moving tributes I ever saw was in Manchester in a square where I saw a statue of Abraham Lincoln.

                  Wondering why that should be there, I read the words on the plinth that were a 'respectful address' in 1862 to the President of the US supporting him in his fight against 'chattel slavery' from the Guilds, or Unions, of Manchester.

                  These were of course the cotton workers of Manchester who had a meeting and decided to support Lincoln even though they were hurting because of the blockade of the South and its cotton.

                  What a big-hearted, magnanimous gesture of these workers looking beyond their own interests to those of black American slaves.


                  In Birmingham cathedral that year they were honouring the 200th anniversary of the fight against slavery, which included an account of a huge meeting in the cathedral of antislaver citizens addressed by William Wilberforce in 1807.

                  The Treaty came out of that period of enlightenment.

                  • RedLogix

                    Thanks. That makes the linkage of ideas I was looking for far better than I managed. yes

                  • roblogic

                    Thanks for that insight mac1. Also there had been a wholehearted embrace of Christianity across Maori culture, sadly snuffed out by the betrayals of the settlers stealing Maori land for the decades following 1840. But there are still a few reminders of those fervent days, in the Ratana churches, and remembrance of Te Whiti and Parihaka.

                • swordfish


                  Oh for chrissakes, don't mention the Musket Wars, RL ! … the wars that dare not speak their name among polite Upper-Middle Woke Society !

                  Spoils the highly paternalistic Noble Savage Romanticism.

                  • RedLogix

                    God knows I've been burned on that one before, but I thought to sneak it in one more time under the taiaha as it were.

              • Dennis Frank

                Damn right. The United Tribes flag means something real! I think our future as Aotearoa will have to blend Te Tiriti with multiculturalism though.

                We're fortunate that genetics invalidated racism. No word yet on how Moriori relate genetically to Maori, as far as I know, or if the Waitaha independent origin is real rather than legend…

          • RedLogix

            Thanks mac. Both my parents were teachers and I can relate to what you have said here very much.

            Not all teachers are the same, and there will always be those who are remembered for something special. But overall it's my sense that almost all are there for the kids.

    • Patricia Bremner 2.6

      Dennis, Ministry of Education not Department of Education. That changed 30 years ago.
      Yes some Decile 1 2 3 schools may find the change challenging, but not as challenging as a whole of curriculum change, with the syllabus arriving with the children on the first day of school, as happened with National and then minister Lockwood Smith.
      There was no training for its implementation for 12 long months.
      This current change has been well signaled and resourced. Courses, resource people, units of work are being developed for each region as well as online resources

  3. Ad 3

    Southern DHB member Ilkha Beekhuis was the only member of the Southern DHB to vote against this motion yesterday.

    • The SDHB motion voted for by all members apart from Ilka Beekhuis: ‘‘Southern DHB, thankful to all those involved in the Covid-19 vaccine rollout programme, acknowledges achieving the milestone of 90% of the population receiving at least one dose; AND, with a commitment to the equitable protection of our people, is determined to meet a result of at least 90% double vaccinated for all ethnic groups (Maori, Pasifika, Asian, European and other), all age groups, and all urban and rural communities across the district.’’

    SDHB member votes against 90% motion | Otago Daily Times Online News (odt.co.nz)

    Couldn't even get herself to vote a congratulations and a commitment.

    Hey Ilkha, come the merger, don't let that door hit you on the way out.

    • Pete 3.1

      It seems the DHB member is anti-vaccination. Clearly she struck to her principles and wouldn't vote a congratulations and a commitment. It is easy to conclude she thinks that the best Covid vaccination rate for the SDHB region is 0%.

      "Ms Beekhuis said she had been approached by ‘‘an alarming number of people in our community who are experiencing life-changing reactions to the Covid vaccination’’.

      ‘‘I’ve personally been told of heart attacks, blood clots, renal problems, unexplainable pain, a loss of menstruation, and breast pain.’’

      It's a wonder she didn't chuck in car crashes, inability to sleep and a desire to eat lots of chocolate.


      If I were on the board I'd have fun forming motions to elicit her support to expose her attitudes. So insane of course the rational people, the others there, would vote against them.

      "Motion: That the SDHB encourage all residents to not have covid vaccinations and do everything in its power to prevent campaigns encouraging it." She'd be into that boots and all.

      • Bearded Git 3.1.1

        🤩nice one Pete

      • Patricia Bremner 3.1.2

        The members are representative of the public. I suppose that would reflect the % of outliers. We thought the internet would inform, not misinform. Thanks Pete.

    • UncookedSelachimorpha 3.2

      I see she has a management background and no medical training. Not the person to go to for medical advice.


  4. Speaking of history, both Māori and Pakeha, in two day's time it will be Parihaka Day, the 5th of November. And yes it is high time Aotearoa recognised this as a replacement for Guy Fawkes. 140 years ago on the 5th November 1881 government forces invaded the peaceful Māori settlement of Parihaka. They were met with children playing and offering bread. No one was killed on that day but in the days following rape and pillage was experienced. Parihaka is as important to us as Waitangi. It is our "Thanksgiving".

    Popular in North America is to celebrate the grace shown by the indigenous peoples even when they had been invaded and and had their land and way of life stolen. So too Parihaka and what it stands for is an inspiration and source of pride for us all.

    • Dennis Frank 4.1

      Yeah, good one Keith, I'll back you on that. The deep history of Parihaka needs to be clarified in our public life. My reading of Dick Scott's account long ago revealed Te Whiti's non-violent politics as seminal & inspiration for Gandhi.

      Neo-colonialists would say, `yeah but he was a communist'. Well, so what? Moral righteousness is the question. Settler land-grabs based on the selling of common land that no Maori had a right to sell was a popular strategy. There's ongoing murk around chiefly entitlement to sell common land, not to mention whatever chiefly mana was held by those who signed the contract, rightly or wrongly…

      • KJT 4.1.1

        Some of it was "those stupid Pakeha, paying for something they cannot take away".

        Different cultures and world veiws.

  5. Dennis Frank 5

    Fave new world:

    Facebook Inc is now Meta Platforms Inc, and the company is squarely focused on pivoting into building a new virtual world, the eponymous ‘metaverse’. ‘Metaverse’ itself is a spectacularly unspecific word, which means different things depending on who you ask.

    Postmodern thinking requires a world to be user-defined. The cult of individualism creates a supportive matrix for that.

    Particularly for Aucklanders stuck working from home in a doom spiral of endless Zoom calls, the idea that anyone would actually choose to forgo an in-person social experience to inhabit a virtual room in the metaverse might be hard to imagine.

    Zoom into that room to meet your doom.

    Fortnite has rapidly morphed from a game to a social network, with over 250 million users, and a majority of those citing Fortnite’s social elements as their main reason for ‘playing’… Fortnite serves as an embryonic case study of what Facebook touts as the future.

    Real world too boring? Try another world.

    In July this year, President Joe Biden actually said that Facebook “was killing people”

    Or maybe he virtually said that. Hard to tell nowadays…


    • RedLogix 5.1

      In his novel Rainbows End Vernor Vinge explored this theme extensively.

      There are many realities to choose from in the novel; however, the largest and more robust of them are built by large user bases in the manner of a wiki or Second Life. The confederation of users that contribute to the virtual world is called a belief circle. Several belief circles are presented in the novel, including worlds based on authors such as H. P. Lovecraft, Terry Pratchett, and the fictional Jerzy Hacek. Also mentioned are worlds based on the artwork of M. C. Escher, and fictional entertainment companies such as SpielbergRowling. The Egan Soccer set piece can also be seen as a type of subscribed Belief Circle.

      This whole idea of "Belief Circles" is perhaps the most interesting – the idea that we could lose our social coherence and diverge into mutually exclusive populations with relatively little in the way of overlapping language, beliefs and values. To my mind this is a good example of taking tech modernity too damn far – chillingly so.

      In this I can understand how a world view that emphasises a connection with nature and the physical demands of life can still play a vital role in anchoring humanity into at least one common reality. This is partly why I don't throw rocks at say Robert G and weka who are the main proponents of this here – while I disagree quite strongly on some points with them – that does not mean I want to diminish or reject that world view either.

      The question worth asking here is this – if a high tech reality divides us into mutually incomprehensible fragments, and a reversion to the pre-industrial world dismantles modernity and globalisation – what belief system might unite us as a single species? What would it look like?

      • Dennis Frank 5.1.1

        Vernor Vinge

        Incidentally, in consequence of your recommendation to us a while back, I acquired a couple of his books from a reseller & enjoyed them in recent months.

        lose our social coherence and diverge into mutually exclusive segments with relatively little in the way of overlapping language, beliefs and values

        Cultural morphing does seem to include devolving along with evolving.

        Philosophically, this suggests a differentiation process along with an integration process, together producing the building of community. When it comes to non-local community-building, such as online social media, humans seem to default to differentiating. I suspect the cult of individualism drives that.

        We evolved as social animals. Despite the ebb in the influence of nature and local community in our matrix, we have an internal drive to socialise.

        if a high tech reality divides us into mutually incomprehensible fragments, and a reversion to the pre-industrial world dismantles modernity and globalisation – what belief system might unite us as a single species?

        Depends which buttons in the psyche get pushed. We are motivated by desires, needs, fears, enthusiasms, and the necessity of decision-making choices. Onsite here, politics is spectator sport only. No thrill from participation. I contribute in the hope that folks will be stimulated into thought – a somewhat tepid altruism. Unity, in contrast, can only ever arrive on a genuine basis. Sufficient common interest. Collective survival threats looming may suffice…

        • RedLogix

          You really don't have to agree with everything being said here, but interesting all the same:

          • Dennis Frank

            Yeah, reminds us that it is actually possible for rightists to maintain an intelligent conversation. The search for the right rightists is always the problem.

            Hoover was ranked as the tenth most influential think tank in the world in 2020 by Academic Influence, and the 22nd of the "Top Think Tanks in the United States" by the Global Go To Think Tank Index Report in 2019


            So you can see why they sponsored the panel. I liked the style critique: animated Zuck seeming more convincingly human than real Zuck.

      • Descendant Of Smith 5.1.2

        Belief circles is only one of many scenarios and I would argue develop independent of technology anyway e.g. gated communities, expensive white suburbs, religion, cults, gangs, etc.

        It is easy to ignore the benefits – greater awareness of world events in real time as well, connections with people you would never have made otherwise – my 30+ year old son is friends with people he met playing online when he was 8 (and yes they have met face to face), increased awareness and reading and research capabilities, the ability to build communities like this blog where different voices are heard – often over issues that I would never have come across/considered previously, increased productivity, reduced travel to and from work, the ability to read historical documents and books, etc, etc, etc.

        It is definitely not doom and gloom.

      • Robert Guyton 5.1.3

        “…what belief system might unite us as a single species? What would it look like?”

        Animism 🙂

        The mutually exclusive segmenting you describe is already occurring in society, at a rapidly increasing pace, but where it's going to impact most, is intra-personal; that is, inside of the head/mind of each of us. We're going to find/are finding greater and greater numbers of anomalies/misconceptions/contradictory beliefs, in our own minds. This, I believe, is the challenge facing us all 🙂

  6. ianmac 6

    If someone is infected with Covid, how will this affect the sandflies which suck his blood?

  7. Anker 7

    Little Cleo found alive. Unbelievably great news. Not expected I don’t think

  8. Ad 8

    3.4% headline unemployment in New Zealand.

    First time since before the GFC in 2008.

    Labour crunch: NZ unemployment hits lowest level on record – NZ Herald

    Don't take no crap from the boss.

    • Sabine 8.1

      Let's see the numbers when AKL goes into Level 2. How high is the number of jobs currently subsidised via the Government? And could that be counted as 'seasonal' unemployment, or would that be cycnical? Seriously, lets call these last 12 weeks of covid unemployment by numbers.

      And last, do we still count people who work at least one hour paid as 'employed'?

      But nice numbers here. Looking good, forge ahead, lets move on.

    • mac1 8.2

      18000 people off the job seekers means an annual saving well over $200 million. Instead, they're earning and paying tax. At the same time, wages go up; more money in circulation.

      It's a shambles.

      • bwaghorn 8.2.1

        Yip we need more cheap immigrants and young tourists to get those people back on the dole asap.

    • Pingao 8.3

      However the "underutilisation rate" is 9.2%. That includes people like me who are under-employed – e.g. have a part-time/casual job but need more hours and permanent work.

      I will try to link to the Stats NZ site.

      • Pingao 8.3.1

        “I will try to link to the Stats NZ site.”


        • weka

          can you cut and paste a section of the text? Others can then link from that

          • Pingao

            section of the text from Statistics NZ website

            The underutilisation rate is equally as important as the unemployment rate. It gives a broader measure of untapped capacity in the labour market

              • Sabine

                this link is better, but you have to scroll.


                unemployment looks good at glance until you realise that

                a. most jobs are created in Auckland, how many of these are covid realted? Jabbers and Contract Tracers in particular.

                b. women are still way behind men. – nevermind though.

                c. unterutilasation is over 10% for women, its better for men thus the under 10% number

                d. 0 hour contracts are still high with 350.000+ people still working on the basis of these 'contracts' – essentially these guys have no job, but are on a on call / casual position at best.

                e. how many of hte jobs in auckland – specifically hairdressers, retail, hospitality are hanging on due to the wage subsidy – ditto waikato, for what its worth, its starting to look shaky in Level 2 country too.

                last, i don't expect anyone to really answer my questions as to how low ‘fulltime employment is’.

                • Robert Guyton

                  "unemployment looks good " 🙂

                • Craig H

                  Underutilisation for women still needs to improve, but it's the lowest figure in the table which goes back to 2004.

                  Full time employment is everyone who is not included as underutilised i.e. it is 90.8% of the available workforce.

                  • Sabine

                    1 hour per week for profit is considered employed.

                    Some 375.000 people are on an unemployment benefit. So maybe really it is not quite as rosy as you and the govt like to paint this.

                    But let me repeat this again,

                    1 hour per week for profit is ocnsidered employed.

                    having signd a 0 hour contract is considered employed.

                    30 hours is considered full time employed

                    all of the three lots of people in these scenarios are still depended on the government to pay their bills.

                    but yeah, right, what ever makes you feel good.

                    • Craig H

                      All of those scenarios are included in the underutilisation figures. Underutilisation is everyone who wants to work full time (30 hours/week) but isn't, whether they are not employed or working 1 hour a month, or 29.75 hours a week, or anything between those points.

                      Hence the calculation in my answer to your question.

                      That said, agree that 30 hours on current wages will not always be enough to live on, but then, 100 hours (total) isn't enough for many families, so addressing that isn't solely a matter of more hours.

              • Pingao

                At 8.3.1111 Yes. Thank you Weka!

      • mac1 8.3.2

        The underutilisation rate is also down, said the news today.

      • Craig H 8.3.3

        It was 10.5% in the last release 3 months ago, so that's a significant drop as well. Women dropped from from 13% to 10.9% which is the lowest rate in the table, which dates back to 2004.

  9. Reality 9

    Does Judith Collins ever sound like a reasonably normal decent woman? On Radio NZ this morning she was, as usual, sarcastic, snide, unpleasant as she carped on about the PM going to Auckland.

    Dr Reti on the other hand was quite the opposite. Don't know how he stomachs working with his leader.

    • Patricia Bremner 9.1

      It is called "good cop bad cop" a system used to confuse and wear down the target. imo

  10. KSaysHi 10

    Lasted from Chris Martenson for anyone interested.

  11. Bruce 11

    Had a third dose of vaccine today, apparently not fully approved so had to answer questions and sign a special consent, just had to check I had a bandaid to be sure I had had it. Seems to have had less impact each dose, I'll have to be careful or ill find myself going out to get more doses for fun.

    • Bearded Git 11.1

      Go to the "non-vaxxed" persons only cafe in Collingwood and tell them you have had 3….that should stir them up

      • francesca 11.1.1

        Actually he's a very peaceable guy and not likely to be stirred up by anything.He's quite well thought of , his eccentricities tolerated .

        Things will probably change if covid comes to Collingwood

  12. Good stuff in the sidebar.

    Gordon Campbell on why Three Waters is a good idea worth supporting – werewolf

    There’s a clear choice involved here. As Fallow concludes, a lot of the injured innocence emanating from those in council offices now clutching their precious water assets to their chest like so many Gollums, smacks more of a desire to protect jobs for the boys than a credible defence of local democracy. For people who gave Labour a clear mandate to govern at the last election, Three Waters is one of the few examples (so far) where the government seems prepared to spend its political capital on delivering an unpopular, widely misunderstood but essential package of reform.

  13. observer 13

    Video of the protesters in Whanganui today.

    Well done to the guy who gets in front of them with his climate change sign (and annoys one woman in particular!). Then we are treated to the anti-vax message from another woman, who really needs a hug.

    Evil media provide free platform for protest against evil media

    • Pete 13.1

      Maybe with the buses doing the vaccination rounds in place like Whanganui they can send a mental health bus.

    • weka 13.2

      That's cheered me up!

    • Robert Guyton 13.3

      The anti-vaxxers claim to be terrified of clots, yet they are infested with them 🙂

      • weka 13.3.1

        The woman in the video said Ardern is on notice for crimes against humanity. If we switched that to neoliberalism, housing and poverty policies, and climate/ecology, isn't the statement hyberbole but containing some kind of truth?

        • Brigid

          Exactly. There' are plenty of legitimate things that this government could be criticised on.

          But I don't believe managing Covid is one of them.

  14. Joe90 14

    An AM drive-by the Whanganui protester's upper Avenue marshaling point and oh dear, the whole gang were there.

    The anti 1080 crew, the forced-birthers with their new placards, the avenue butt picker-uppers, a local nat party knob….LOL

    Edit: @observer – and most were gawkers

  15. Macro 15

    How do these folk even manage to tie their own shoe laces? 🙄

    QAnon Rally Fails to Revive JFK Jr. From the Dead

    It’s hard to know when to give up on something you like that consistently disappoints you, a lesson QAnon supporters learned for the umpteenth time when at least 100 conspiracists gathered in Dealey Plaza in Dallas on Tuesday. The die-hards — who have kept the plot in the air despite its likely architect bailing on Q after the Capitol riot — traveled to the place where John F. Kennedy was assassinated 58 years ago this November in the hope that his son, JFK Jr., would appear and reveal himself as their no longer anonymous leader.

    But that didn’t stop rallygoers from wondering if they saw other deceased celebrities — like Robin Williams, Dale Earnhardt Sr., and Michael Jackson — joining them at the rally. In the end, all they got were their “Trump-JFK Jr. 2021” T-shirts and an ouroboros moment for American conspiracism

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